Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - August 27, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Vice President calls for a national movement to empower women

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Role of women and women's organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.


Context

  • The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu called for a national movement for women’s empowerment and to ensure that no girl child is left out of school.
  • While observing that the flagship scheme ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ has undoubtedly created a positive impact, Shri Naidu said that much more needs to be done to change the societal mindset.

Background

  • In a Facebook Post titled “End Discrimination, Empower Women”, Shri Naidu pointed out that with women constituting about 50 percent of India’s population, progress cannot be achieved unless they are given equal opportunities in all spheres, including the political arena.
  • “We need to show in action and in deeds that gender discrimination no longer exists—that should be our goal”, he stressed.
  • Urging all political parties to arrive at a consensus at the earliest on the long-pending proposal to provide adequate reservation to women in parliament and state legislatures at the earliest, Shri Naidu also emphasized the need for giving equal property rights to women for their economic emancipation.

About the Highlights

  • The Vice President recently released a report- ‘Status of Sex Ratio at Birth in India’ which mentioned that there has not been any change in the sex ratio at birth in India from 2001-2017--the number of girl children born is much less than what is the general or natural norm.
  • It was brought out by the Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development (IAPPD).
  • Referring to the report, he said it is an alarming issue that needs to be addressed on a war footing by all the stakeholders—from the society at large to parliamentarians, government, policy makers, opinion leaders, media organizations and various organizations working to empower women.
  • Urging elected representatives at all levels to draw the attention of people in their respective areas to the alarming aspect of skewed sex ratio, Shri Naidu called upon every citizen to act as a warrior in completely eradicating social evils like dowry system and in eliminating 'son preference' mindset.
  • Stressing the need for rigorous implementation of Pre-conception & Pre-natal Diagnostics Techniques (PC & PNDT) law to bring about a balance in the sex ratio, the Vice President said there should be zero tolerance towards any kind of discrimination or violence against girls and women.
  • Calling upon the people to collectively declare a war on poverty, illiteracy and other social hurdles coming in the way of building a New India, Shri Naidu wanted every Indian citizen, particularly the youth to join in the Yagna of building a prosperous and happy India where there will be no discrimination of any kind.

Source: https://vicepresidentofindia.nic.in/

After Unveiling Reserve Bank, Fugitive Godman Nithyananda Now Plans to Set up Hindu Parliament of Kailaasa in 6 Months

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Context

  • A day after launching Reserve Bank of Kailaasa, now absconding godman Nithyananda is planning to set up a Hindu parliament in the next six months.
  • “With the grace of Ganapati, we wish to establish a Hindu parliament for Hinduism to establish a model government for administering Hindu religion based organizations,” he said in on social media. 
Background
  • Saying that the task will be completed by January, he said the Hindu parliament will constitute five entities such as Chit sabha, Raja sabha, Deva sabha, Kanaga sabha and Nithyananda sabha.
  • All these five entities will be in accordance with what ‘Paramashiva’ had said in the vedas and ‘agamas’.

About the Highlights

  • With the Hindu blessings system, the Chit sabha will present consciousness based spiritual enlightenment science, welcoming all Hindu representatives, incarnations, enlightened masters, pontiffs, gurus and others who willingly accept the parliament’s humble request and invitation.
  • On the other hand, the Raja sabha will be a responsible democratic setup which will invite Hindu leaders of nations, sympathisers and political leaders who appreciate Hindu principles.
  • He said the Deva Sabha will be a think tank of individuals who live to enrich others to be able to live at the highest Hindu administrative principles embedded in vedas, itihasas, puranas and agamas which evolve sustainable development.
  • Kanaga sabha will include individuals and important leaders related to human beings’ prosperity that includes lifestyle, money, grains, various essential resources like fuel, electricity.
  • He said that the Nithyananda sabha will be a responsible democratic sabha comprising individuals who will streamline the administration of mahakailasa, who themselves experience and enrich the world with the science of blissful living.
  • Saying that each sabha will have a strength of 1,008 members, the godman said within six months he will release the members’ names and the structure, its principles and policies.
  • Prior to this, the self-styled godman had on Saturday unveiled the currency of the ‘Reserve Bank of Kailaasa’, presenting it at the feet of Lord Ganesha.
  • The rape accused spiritual guru was suspected to have fled India in October 2019.
  • In December 2019, Nithyananda declared he had laid the foundation of his own Hindu country Kailaasa.

Source: Indian Express.

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All 9 trapped in fire at Telangana hydroelectric plant killed

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


Context

  • All nine trapped inside a hydroelectric plant in Telangana’s Srisailam after a fire broke out were killed, the officials said.
  • Of nine bodies recovered, three were identified as assistant engineers -- Sundar Naik, Mohan Kumar and Fathima.

Background

  • The chief minister expressed anguish over the loss of lives in the Srisailam power station fire.
  • Describing it as unfortunate, KCR said all the efforts were made to rescue the trapped engineers and bring them out alive, but in vain.
  • He expressed his deep condolences to the bereaved families.

About the Highlights

  • There were 30 employees of TSGenco inside the powerhouse when the accident took place late on night.
  • While six employees were rescued and brought out of the tunnel, 15 others managed to come out through the emergency exit route of the project.
  • However, nine others were trapped inside as thick smoke engulfed inside the tunnel, making it difficult for the rescue teams to reach the place, Reddy said.
  • The rescued employees, including deputy executive engineer Pawan Kumar, plant junior assistant Ramakrishna, junior engineers Mathru, Krishna Reddy and Venkataiah and driver Palankaiah were shifted to TSGenco Hospital at Eegala Penta closer to the power house. They are out of danger.
  • SLBP is on the Telangana side of the Srisailam reservoir on the Krishna River, a joint irrigation project under Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The power house was constructed in the huge tunnel under the Nallamala forests adjacent to the reservoir, which is presently brimming with heavy inflows into the river forcing the authorities to lift all the gates to discharge water.

Source: Hindustan Times.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of Nuakhai Juhar.

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.


Context

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, "The special occasion of Nuakhai is about celebrating the hardwork of our farmers. It is due to their efforts that our nation is fed. 

Background

  • It is believed to have been adopted from the tribal communities of western Odisha.
  • As the preparations reveal elements of both tribal origins and the Hindu rituals.
  • Nuakhai festival traces its origin to the Vedic period in 
  • One among them was Pralambana yajnawhich means the cutting of new crops and offering them to the mother goddess.
  • Oral traditionof this festival dates back to the 12th century A.D. when this festival was celebrated by Chauvan Raja Ramai Deo, Bolangir district of Odisha.

About the Festival

  • Nuakhai Juhar is anagricultural festival, also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat.
  • It is celebrated to welcome the new crop of the season.
  • Nuakhaiis a combination of two words that signifies eating of new rice as ‘nua’ means new and ‘khai’ means eat.
  • This is the festival of Western Odisha, southern Chhattisgarhand adjoining areas of Simdega (Jharkhand).
  • Its coastal counterpart is Nabanna,observed in Coastal Odisha.
  • It is observed onpanchami tithi (the fifth day) of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September), the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi
  • Lagan is the fixed time of the day to celebrate the festival.
  • Farmers offer the first produce from their lands to Goddess Samaleswari, the famous ‘Mother Goddess’ of Sambalpur district of Odisha.
  • Sambalpuri dance forms like Rasarkeli and Dalkhai can be witnessed.

Source: PIB.

Thumbimahotsavam 2020

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

  • WWF-India State unit has joined hands with the Society for Odonate Studies (SOS) and Thumbipuranam for the first-ever State Dragonfly Festival in Kerala, christened Thumbimahotsavam 2020.
  • It is the first-ever state dragon fly festival in 

Background

  • It is part of a National dragonfly festivalbeing organized by the WWF India, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) & Indian Dragonfly Society.
  • It is celebrated in association with the National Biodiversity Board (NBB),United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IUCN – Centre for Environment Conservation.
  • Official Mascot: Pantalu

About the festival

  • The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF India), in collaboration with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), launched the third editionof Dragonfly Festival 2020.
  • It aims at building awareness about the importance of dragonflies and damselflies and the need to conserve them.
  • The Dragonfly Festival started in 2018 to educate and inform the public about the integral role that dragonflies, and their lesser known siblings damsel flies, play in our environment.

About Society for Odonate Studies (SOS)

  • SOS is a non-political, non-profit organization formed to impart knowledge to the public on the insect order ofOdonata and to conduct scientific studies, with the objective of conservation of the species and their habitats.
  • The Odonata are an order of flying insects that includes the dragonflies and damselflies which are critical bio indicators.

Source: The Hindu.

Turkey converts another former Istanbul church into a mosque

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.


Context

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered another ancient Orthodox Church that became a mosque and then a popular Istanbul museum to be turned back into a Muslim place of worship.
  • The decision to transform the Kariye Museum into a mosque came just a month after a similarly controversial conversion for the UNESCO World Heritage-recognised Hagia Sophia.
  • The decree on the issue was published in Turkey's official gazette.
Background
  • The 1,000-year-old building's history closely mirrors that of the Hagia Sophia - its bigger neighbour on the historic western bank of the Golden Horn on the European side of Istanbul.
  • The Holy Saviour in Chora was a medieval Byzantine church decorated with 14th-century frescoes of the Last Judgement that remain treasured in the Christian world.

About the Highlights

  • It was originally converted into the Kariye Mosque half a century after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks.
  • It became the Kariye Museum after World War II as Turkey pushed ahead with the creation of a more secular new republic out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.
  • A group of American art historians then helped restore the original church's mosaics and opened them up for public display in 1958.
  • However, Erdogan has in the past few years placed a greater emphasis on the battles that resulted in the defeat of Byzantium by the Ottomans.
  • Turkey's top administrative court approved the museum's conversion into a mosque in November.

Source: The Hindu.

Private firms employ more women in R&D: Study

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

India’s private sector research companies appear to employ a larger proportion of women in core research and development activities than government-funded major scientific agencies do, according to data in the Science and Technology Indicators (STI), 2018, a periodic compendium of the state of scientific research in India, released this month.

Background

  • Of the 20,351 women employed in private R&D companies, 15,011 — or about three in four — were involved in “R&D activities” and the rest in “auxiliary or administrative activities”.
  • However, of the 23,008 women in “major scientific agencies”, fewer than half — or 10,138 — were in the same ‘R&D activities’ category.

About the Highlights

  • The STI is prepared by a division of the Department of Science Technology, the National Science and Technology Management Information System, and is based on data provided by a range of scientific establishments across the country.
  • A scientist told that, on the whole, private sector companies had a greater commitment to ensuring that women scientists were fairly represented in recruitment, promotions and appraisal processes than in many scientific organisations.
  • “Managers have to answer why women in their teams are not promoted or why, for instance, are women dropping out of their workforces,” said the person who is now in a private research organisation but was formerly an academic in a government-funded institution.
  • She declined to be identified citing company restrictions.
  • “However, in several government scientific organisations this is just not a priority,” she said.

Source: The Hindu.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt National Strategy for Financial Education (NSFE): 2020-2025:
  1. It has been prepared by the National Centre for Financial Education (NCFE) in consultation with all the Financial Sector Regulators (RBI, SEBI, IRDAI and PFRDA), DFS and other Ministries of Govt. of India and other stakeholders under the aegis of the Technical Group on Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy under the Chairmanship of Deputy Governor, RBI.
  2. This NSFE for the period 2020-2025 is the second one after the 2013-18 NSFE.
  3. It has recommended a ‘5 S’ approach for dissemination of financial education in the country. 

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

       A. 1 and 2 only
       B. 2 and 3 only
       C. 1 and 3 only
       D. AOTA

Solution: A

2. Consider the following:

  • It has recommended a ‘5 C’ approach for dissemination of financial education in the country. 

  1. Barakah nuclear power plant is in:

       A. Iran
       B. UAE
       C. Pakistan
       D. Afghanistan

Solution: B

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